Friday, May 31, 2013
Monday, March 04, 2013
This is my moist recently finished painting. It's a picture of my nephew, Jenson.
As you can see, I'm trying to expand my style. I'm also experimenting with oils again- something I swore I would never touch again. I know that I have more potential for my skills to grow with oil paint ( as opposed to just acrylic)- it's just that it's so uncomfortable for me. I first painted this in acrylic and then did a layer of oil over it- and I do think the oil added a lot to the skin tone that wasn't possible with just the acrylic.
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Thursday, February 14, 2013
And here is a lovely picture of me and my real Valentine. Roxanne and Matt went on a different date together last night. And for today, Valentines day, we did nothing. Happy Valentines day all!
Thursday, February 07, 2013
This is a project that I started with the kids when we first moved into the house, and I predict it will be an "unfinished project" for the entire time we live here. Unfinished projects are usually bad, but sometimes they can be good, if the project is one that is meant to grow and evolve, and if time itself is an element in the piece of art.
Jodi originally had me start collecting caps for her. I don't know what she was going to do with them, but when she decided to move to Scotland, she abandoned her cap collection and I inherited all she and I had collected. Thankfully, when she moved back from Scotland, she didn't ask for all her caps back. In fact, she is one of my most loyal collectors/donors.
I have a big tub in the pantry of our kitchen and every time we end up with a plastic cap, we throw it into the tub. (By the way, threaded plastic caps can't be recycled, like their plastic containers can be). Every time the tub gets full, we go out back and glue them to the fence using liquid nails glue. I lightly sketch a wave shape on the wood, and then the kids and I glue the caps around the chalk line. At first, just our family was the major contributor of the caps- every now and then people would give me some, but most of them were from whatever products we used. But ever since I posted photos of what we were doing, I've been getting more and more cap donations from other people. At this point, I probably have way more donated caps than my own caps.
I know a cap that you would normally throw away seems like a small thing and not much of a sacrifice, but it really does make me feel so good when someone gives me a bag full of caps. Because, it's one thing to buy or make a gift for someone when they are having a birthday, or at Christmas time. But it's a totally different thing to slowly and gradually accumulate something for someone during the course of your mundane life. One cap isn't much, but a bag FULL of caps really adds up! A bag full of caps is a whole lot of thoughts of love for me during very intimate and personal daily moments. It's means that there was a moment when someone was making a PB&J sandwich for their kid, and they were scraping the last bit of peanut butter out of the jar while their kid sat there waiting, and then they thought of ME. Or... It means, they were naked in the shower, squeezing the last bit of shampoo out of the bottle, and they thought of ME. Or it means as they took their last Xanax pill and remembered they had to refill their prescription, they thought of ME. It means the thought of me invades people's lives in a very small, but very frequent amount that adds up to a whole whole lot and I'm just amazed that people actually do it for me.
I mean.... not everyone does it. And I understand. I don't know how much someone would have to mean to me before I would alter my lifestyle for them.... and maybe the people that do it for me, aren't perceptive enough to realize that all those small sacrifices of stockpiling caps actually accumulate to equal quite a bit of a sacrifice, and I'm thankful for their ignorance.
And it's not just for the finished product of having a colorful fence- it's for the experience for me and the kids- it's amazing how therapeutic the process is. We play music and the repetitive act of grabbing the cap and placing it on the fence becomes like a dance. It's colorful, and we're in the sunshine, and as an array of spots and circles grow down the fence, I try to honor each plastic cap as it goes up, knowing that at some point, there was someone behind it honoring me in a small way too. The pictures below don't show it, but we've got a pretty huge backyard and there is a whole lot more fence that isn't showing. Our fence goes on like, forever. So that means the wave of caps can keep growing and growing the longer we live here. It's such a fun ritual that makes us feel so blessed. So many people love us and we're so lucky for that!
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Since Rocket won his school science fair a couple months ago, he had the chance to participate in the district wide science fair where all the Denver Public Elementary Schools sent their school winners to compete. This was a big deal to him, but he didn't expect to win.
The picture above is him before the fair. The only bad parts is they didn't let the public in to view all of the exhibits. I got into the zoo free, but had to stay out of the exhibit room- especially when the judges were present. But Rocket must have done a good job presenting on his own. During the awards ceremony, I said a little prayer to God hoping that if he was able to have the encouragement of placing, it would make up for all the negative experiences he's been having lately (mostly with other kids at school). We were all surprised when he got the award for "best in show". I hope I didn't help him too much with his project.
This is him along with the other three winners. He was beaming at this moment.
This is him with his big ole ribbon in front of his board.
We also got some special "backstage" access at the zoo to see some animals close up. I liked this grinning alligator.
Roxanne insisted that Rocket do what she had come to the zoo for- the carousel. And he was still on top of the world. He looks like such a little boy in this picture, I think.
The lion "cubs" were posing quite well for pictures and I thought they looked especially cuddly.
I also liked the dik dik deer. I thought a dik dik would be a better pet than a cat. Especially if it would sit in a window sill. It was about the same size as Friday, so they could be great friends.
We went to Chili's afterwards to celebrate Rocket's great achievement.
Friday, January 25, 2013
And this is a picture of Jesus I made using my "percolator" app on my phone- it was made from a classic Byzantine image. I thought it looked so cool, I made it my phone's wallpaper.
Wednesday, January 16, 2013
I've heard before that unfinished projects and/or responsibilities are one of the biggest contributing factors to stress in ones life. I've found this to be true. When I procrastinate a task, that means all of the time up until I actually do the task will be contaminated by negative thoughts- especially if the task is visible- like on the kitchen table. I think of tasks like fruit, and my brain is the fruit bowl- if I get too many fruits in the bowl, I won't be able to eat them all before one of them rots. And once one fruit rots, it ruins all the other fruit too. All that is to say, that I have an unusually high amount of unfinished projects around the house right now. I've been very "nesty" lately- probably because I don't have any firm exciting goals for my life right now, so I'm just enjoying being at home.
The beer cap wall is coming along slowly but surely. I glue a handful of caps on every night or so. But I should also point out that the pantry next to the wall is cleaner than in the last picture.
This is a horse named Penny that I'm in the process of painting. My father in law, Gary, is going to build a pole and base for the horse when I'm done painting it.
I started painting stripes for my living room a couple months ago... And that's an extremely tedious task. Definitely a fruit I need to get out of the bowl, as it is polluting all my other thoughts every time I am in the living room.
Oh but I would like to also talk about the paint. I didn't choose the color by meticulously examining paint chips. No. I have been saving every bit of left over latex paint I've ever had ever since we got our first home ten years ago- it really adds up. And people told me I needed to throw all the cans away because you can't store them (its against the storage rules) but I really just wanted to hold onto them. So I packed them all (like 30 big cans of paint) into boxes and labeled the boxes "zip ties", which was code word for paint cans. I think I was trying to think of a code word and just looked up and happened to see a zip tie. I thought that if for any reason, the POD company looked through our stuff to make sure we were following the rules, they'd be like "wow they have a lot of zip ties" but I wouldn't get in trouble for storing the paint. ANYWAYS- for my living room walls I poured all the paint together to make two colors- the pinkish clay color, and the purply blue color. It felt like I was leaving the color of our living room in fates hands, so this was the color it was meant to be.
But I need to get it done, knock it out, pronto, stripey stripey, get going!
Ok so I was going to confess something to you, but then I felt like I was divulging too much, and it made me feel really embarrassed. So I'm going to just tell it in a really vague way. There is this thing... that I've been procrastinating for about 4 years now. It makes me feel really really horrible. It's a really rotten fruit in my head- like beyond rotten. And the more I put it off, the more difficult it is to do. And no one is holding me accountable for it... except my conscience. And now writing it down here is like pulling the rotten fruit out and squishing the rotten juice all over everything else. EW!
I just wanted to say that so that I could end my blog on a bad note. That way next time I post something it will automatically sounds like an improvement. Now for a day of finishing...
Saturday, January 12, 2013
There was something that came to my mind this week that would have made a decent blog post. I remember thinking of it, but I don't remember what it was. I remember thinking, "oh yeah, that will be ok to make a blog post about." But now I don't remember what I said that in my head about. It was something listish- like it involved a list. Because I remember visualizing a numbered list in my head. Darn. If I ever remember, I will blog it. Until then, you're stuck with meaningless crap. Stuff that has no metaphorical potential. But I'm still blogging, and so that counts as not giving up.
Christmas break is over and that is significant because it means the kids are back in school. That's significant because it means I actually have a chance to do something with my life worth blogging about. That's not to say it will actually happen though. During the Christmas break, the kids slept in a fort every single night. Why don't people actually grow up to live in forts? I mean, if you actually had the chance to live in a fort for real, why wouldn't you? I don't know the answer to this despite the fact that I am grown up, and still don't live in a fort. Scratch that. Check back next week... I am making plans.
This is their fort. It has two rooms. I couldn't really get the entire fort into the camera frame. My mother gave Roxanne these fort building squares for Christmas and she loves them. If you are interested in buying them yourself, you probably shouldn't get your hopes up because they're really expensive I think... I actually haven't really looked them up, because I don't really want to know how expensive they really are.
One night during Christmas break I actually slept with them IN the fort as a way of rewarding them for not fighting with eachother for 24 hours straight. That shows how desperate I am. Granted, at some time after midnight, I did sneak out of the fort and get in my own bed, because I couldn't stand to not be able to straighten my legs for that long. But still, I'm really willing to go to great lengths to promote peace in this household. I really am desperate for it. It is 4 degrees outside right now, and I might be willing to go try it out... for a couple hours at least , if it meant people weren't wanting to kill each other around here. I'm serious. Totally serious!
Also... Changing the subject here in a major way... I'd like to share with you about this little dog named Tuna, which I met (not in the literal way) through Instagram. I've fallen so in love with this little dog, and he really has the most precious story behind him (read about it more here). So I decided to use him as my most recent digital painting subject, so look at my digital painting of him below. If you're on Instagram, you really must follow him and this is his user name: TunaMeltsMyHeart. His pictures fill my heart with warmth, love, peace and jealousy. Jealousy that my own dog is not so adorably ugly- although my dog is quite almost as nearly perfect as he could be (minus a little extreme ugliness).
Here is an actual picture of the sweetheart:
That's all I have to say for now. The most comfort I get all week comes soon in the form of murder. An all new 48 Hours Mystery tonight. Really... the thing I look most forward to is a really really good murder... and doggy snuggles. Goodnight world.
Sunday, January 06, 2013
When we moved into our new house, Roxanne designated on little area of the living room as her "school" area. She teaches school lessons, mostly to Friday but also sometimes to her stuffed animals or anyone else who will listen. So we hung the chalkboard there and she comes up with a different subject she wants to teach every month or so, and me and her work together to creat an educational illustration for it. The picture below was from when she wanted to teach about the organs of the body:
This week she decided to turn her school into a store (Friday had had enough of her lessons anyways, and whenever she would say "school time!!!!", Friday would run away). So we created this store on the chalk board. She actually did most of the work on this one. And her store is called "Marvelous M". They sell accessories- purses, hats, lipstick, vases and even football helmets.
Friday, January 04, 2013
Thursday, January 03, 2013
I don't want to blog every single day because I don't want to start blogging about mundane stupid things. Yesterday I started to blog about these chairs that I bought off of Craig's list. It seemed like something significant because completing the mission to get the chairs caused a lot of adrenaline to rush through me. But sometimes I get an adrenaline rush out of mundane things... that's why I have so much dysfunctional anxiety. And I started thinking that if I started blogging about purchases, it's a slippery slope before I'd be blogging about what I made for dinner, how I get my kids to school, my dogs daily routine, etc. But I really want to show you the chairs.
Ok, now, ideally, I'd be able to extract from this situation some metaphor comparing this to the grand scheme of things. That makes for the best blogs- when I actually have something deep to say.
Oh my gosh. The sister wives are ALWAYS crying. They are way too emotional. If this post seems choppy, it's because I'm watching TV at the same time.
Another situation I thought about blogging about.... I'll come up with a metaphor about it later... is New Year's Day. As a family, we went over to Clyde and Susie's house for a "Jewish New Year's Day hangover brunch". The kids had a lot of giggles over this painting. Rocket is pretending that he is being "mature" about the situation- but that was just for the photo.
And life is like a big fat naked lady. If you don't understand that metaphor, perhaps you are not thinking deep enough.
Tuesday, January 01, 2013
1. Moving to Locust Street. This is important because it meant moving away from Highlands Ranch, which represented oppression and isolation and embarrassment to me. I remember December of 2011 when we were setting up our artificial Christmas tree in our Highlands Ranch home for the fifth time, and I said something like "man, wouldn't it be great if this was our last Christmas in this house?" But as soon as I said it, I realized it was ridiculous and unrealistic and I tried not to get my hopes up. But despite my worries and pessimism, things came together and our house sold and we found the perfect house in Denver, and every day I've dwelt here since feels like such a huge blessing. I feel "at home"- like this is where we are meant to live. It seems to have marked a turning point for our family- a fresh start.I painting this in the side of the house as a reference to the street name.
2. My second year participating in the chalk art festival. I actually did get around to posting about this on the blog, so I won't say too much. I had a fun time and won "best use of color". I also felt so thankful to have Matt as my assistant and he made me feel so supported and encouraged.
3. The hot air balloon festival. One of my favorite childhood memories is going to the Colorado Springs hot air balloon festival with my dad when I was a little girl. This year I went with my dad and Roxanne and it was just like I had remembered it- magical.
4. When I heard about this happening:
5. Going to the Book of Mormon with my brother Luke. I spent two hours online fighting for them last January, and then got to go see it in August. It was fabulous and ridiculous and wonderful- especially in light of all my Utah memories.
6. Thanksgiving in Kansas. We had quite a few good adventures on the way there including the genoa wonder tower (a location off my bucket map), the best bathrooms in America, and a dead man in Lucas (but we weren't allowed to take a picture or I would post it here).
Ugh. My thumbs are getting tired. iPad typing is not too easy. Maybe I should have made it a top 6 list.
7. Rocket winning the school science fair. When I picked him up from school that day he said, "that was the happiest moment of my life". And that makes it one of MY happiest moments too.
8. Visiting the Mother of Cabrini Shrine with my good friend Stephanie from Utah. It was unplanned (we actually planned on going to redrocks). It was a beautiful place where you could see all of Denver, and I'd like to go back in the spring when the flowers are blooming.
Typing with just my thumbs, is making them really freezing cold, so I wonder if it's somehow cutting off the blood to my thumbs. My next post will be shorter.